The Free Spirits
The Free Spirits in 1966
|Origin||New York City, United States|
|Labels||Sunbeam Records, ABC Music|
Columbus "Chip" Baker
The band formed in New York as a jazz outfit and each member of the band (excluding rhythm guitar player Columbus "Chip" Baker) had a background in the music. According to the band's drummer, Bob Moses, it was the band's lead guitar player, Larry Coryell, who helped turn the group on to more rock-oriented music.
The band played several times in a New York club called 'The Scene', but made very little money from the shows, getting paid only ten dollars as a group per night. The band also got to perform shows with such acts as Mitch Ryder and The Rascals.
By 1967, Coryell left the band to play with Gary Burton. Moses also left the band to join Burton since he "knew that it wasn't going to be the same without Coryell". Original members Pepper, Hills and Baker, along with Lee Reinoehl on Hammond C-3, and both John Waller and Jim Zitro on drums, formed a new group called Everything Is Everything and released a self-titled album on Vanguard which included Pepper's composition, "Witchi Tai To". Moses later recorded with jazz artists such as Jack DeJohnette, Steve Swallow, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, and Coryell.